Rally girls


Prospect girls come back from deficits to win three games



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ANGELA TIDD (left) and Ella Montminy try to corral a Raymond attacker during action on Oct. 11. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
October 17, 2011
ALTON — Call it a week to remember.

The Prospect Mountain girls' soccer team came from behind in three different games and picked up three more wins to propel them closer to the top of the Division III standings.

"It was one of the best weeks we've ever had," coach Matt Locke said. "I can't remember having a team that's done this and won.

"In my little small world, that was one for the books," he added.

The Prospect girls finished the week on a high note with a dramatic, soaking wet win at Belmont on Friday, Oct. 14.

Locke noted that the Timber Wolves weren't even sure they were going to get to play because it was raining, but the game was moved to a different field that was in decent condition, though it was still pouring.

"We were playing pretty good soccer, but so were they," Locke said. The two teams were in the fourth and fifth spots in the Division IV standings, with the Red Raiders falling just above the Timber Wolves going into the game.

"They wanted it and they came out on fire," Locke said of the Red Raiders. "They were killing us on the flanks."

The Red Raiders jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after a nice cross found its way in front of the net and not much later, about midway through the half, the Raiders put in a crossing pass for a 2-0 lead. They then beat keeper Shannon Meyer to the far post for a 3-0 lead with about 10 minutes to go in the first half.

"We were still playing good," Locke said. "We were passing well."

The Timber Wolves got on the board when Kelly Jones drilled a free kick from 35 yards out. The ball hit the crossbar and deflected down, knocking off the goalie's back and into the net to make it a 3-1 game heading to halftime.

Locke had started Sahara Brown in the backfield after having her up in the middle for a number of the previous games. At halftime, he made the decision to move her back up to the middle.

"We started to pass really, really well and Sahara and Britney (Therrien) had lots of opportunities," Locke said.

Therrien cut the lead to 3-2 about 10 minutes into the second half, as she took the ball on the left and cut it back to the right and drilled the ball to the far post. Brown got an assist on the goal.

Jones then scored on a breakaway to completely eliminate Belmont's lead. Locke noted that Belmont coach Amy Dutton told a newspaper reporter after the game that she told her girls that they had let the Timber Wolves back in the game with the first goal.

"When I made those changes, the momentum just shifted to us," Locke said. "She was right."

Regulation time finished out with the teams tied at three and Prospect almost ended things seconds into the first overtime, as Nicole Dwyer had a great bid denied.

Dwyer did get her goal, however, about seven minutes in when she put a floater in to the net from about 25 yards out. The ball went just over the goalie and under the crossbar for the win.

"They were pretty deflated," Locke said of Belmont. "We were down 3-0 against a good team and you never think you'll come back.

"But our girls had a never say die attitude and they never quit," he continued. "They just didn't give up.

"It was a great sight to see," Locke continued. "That's what great comebacks are all about."

Locke noted in his 15 to 20 years of coaching, he had never had a team come all the way back from a deficit like that and pull off a win.

"In my 15 to 20 years, that's one of the top five games I've ever been involved in," Locke said.

The girls traveled to Somersworth on Thursday, Oct. 13, for a makeup game and again fell behind early, as the 'Toppers scored first for the 1-0 lead.

However, Jones struck for an unassisted goal 10 minutes into the second half to tie the game at one, knocking in a direct kick around the Somersworth wall.

Jones then gave the Timber Wolves the lead when she scored on a breakaway midway through the second, making it a 2-1 game.

However, Somersworth star Rachel Hill, who had been shut down nicely by Dwyer to that point, knotted the score at two just moments later.

From there, it went back and forth as both teams had good chances but neither squad was able to put the ball home.

"The field was a muddy mess by that point," Locke said. "We played a good game in the first half and in the second half we got a little sloppy, but we did score."

In the final minutes of play, the Timber Wolves managed to avoid overtime, as Kirby Beranger carried in and with her left foot, drilled a shot to the far post and past the Somersworth keeper for the 3-2 win.

"That was big for us," Locke said. "It seems something happens to teams on that field."

The week began with a home game against Raymond on Tuesday, Oct. 11, and again, Prospect found themselves playing from behind.

Prospect came out a little flat and the Rams took advantage, scoring in the first half for a 1-0 lead that lasted until halftime.

Locke talked to his squad at halftime and they came out and played a much better second half

"We really picked up the pace," Locke said. "We really bore down in that second half."

Ten minutes into the half, Jones finished off a Beranger feed to tie the game at one and then 10 minutes later, Jones took another feed from Beranger and buried it in the net to give Prospect a 2-1 lead and they held on for the win by the same score.

"It was a back and forth game, but in the second half, we played a lot better," Locke said. "We were able to put a lot of things together and had a lot more opportunities."

Shannon Meyer had a solid day in net, as she made a dozen saves for the Timber Wolves.

"We knew we were going to have our hands full, but they persevered turned things around in the second half," Locke said.

The Timber Wolves finished up the regular season with a home game with Inter-Lakes after deadline on Monday and a game at Kingswood on Wednesday night.

The Division III playoffs begin with a play-in game on Sunday, though the Timber Wolves could earn a bye in that round. The tourney officially begins on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the home of the higher seed at 3 p.m.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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